Friday, February 26, 2010

An epiphany or something like it..

Tonight Mike and I grabbed a bottle of wine we had on hand and headed to our favorite byob Thai Restaurant, Thai Classic. This is actually the first Thai place I ever ate at in Chicago when I moved here over ten years ago. It's remained a staple in my dining rotation throughout all these years, yes, it is THAT good.

Tonight I ordered something different. After our appetizers, spring rolls and shrimp dumplings, I order the tofu curry noodles. As I was eating them in awe, I had my epiphany. If my teenage self could see me now I would be so jealous! I can't tell you how many times I have shared one of my favorite memories growing up with Mike. What is it? Well on Saturdays I lived for my lunch of ramen noodles and strawberry soda while shutting myself in the basement and watching mtv or a lifetime movie depending on the day. So sad, right? hahah. Seriously, I loved those ramen noodles and as I was eating my curry noodles I thought, wow, not much has changed! Except the curry noodles are a definite step up from ramen, and well, these days wine beats strawberry soda! I didn't have my camera but I snapped a few picks with the blackberry.

I then preceded to get really angry at my parents, cursing them for never enlightening me to Thai food in my younger years. Mike quickly reminded me that the Quad Cities didn't really have a lot of Thai food back then. I quickly remembered and said, O, I guess you are right!

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Hangin with my QC peeps

First, let me start off by saying I am a bad bad blogger lately. I started a new job in September and my blogging just kind of dropped off. I have been working my a$$ off, not literally unfortunetely and finding a work life balance has been really challenging. I work harder and longer hours than I EVER have in my entire life! Needless to say I am working on the balance thing for sanity.

Anyways after a long week of working in Houston, I enjoyed some good food and good company with my sister and her hubs. It started on Friday evening, they got in around 8, Mike and I decided to cook at home. I need something fast, healthy and good. I was able to flip through the most recent better homes and gardens on the plane and decided to try out a recipe called Beef, mushroom and onion tart:

12 oz lean ground beef, I used a bag of morningstar farm crumbles to make this a vegetarian friendly meal for yours truely
1 8oz package of sliced mushrooms
1/2 a medium red onion cut in thin wedges
1/4 teaspoon of salt
1/4 teaspoon of pepper
1 13.8 oz pkg refridgerated pizza dough (I used the pillsbury thick because it had the least fat)
oregano and or italian seasoning to taste
3 oz of blue cheese crumbles (I used reduced fat)

Heat oven to 375, In 12" skillet brown beef or fake beef, with onions mushrooms salt and pepper for about 8 minutes, drain if you use beef

Grease or spray large baking sheet,roll dough to fill 15x12 inch pan.

Top dough with beeef mixture, keep filling within 1 1/2" of all edges, fold efges over the filling pleating as needed.

Bake tart for 15 minutes. Top with oregano and italian seasoning.

I cut this into 4 pieces and we each sprinkled on our blue cheese.

Each serving was roughly 14 grams of fat and 450 calories, served along side a salad for a healthy, quick meal!

We talked had a few drinks then hit the sack!

The next morning I wanted to start off with a healthy breakfast because I knew we'd be induldging later with a late lunch/early dinner or dunch as I like to call it.

I made an egg white scramble with spinach and a little 2% light cheese along with a fruit salad. No, I did not cut pineapple into stars as Mel thought, I simply cut up a tasty starfruit.

After an episode of Real Housewives and showering we headed out to Kuma's, which I previously blogged about. I knew Mel and Jeff had to experience it.

We arrived at Kuma's around 4 and there was already a 2 and 1/2 hour wait. Wow, this place never stops! We got smart this time and headed over the Square Bar across the street to wait it out where we enjoyed some tasty beverages, a delicious hummus platter and took some artsy photos.

The hummus deserves honorable mentioned because it was so good!

Around 7 we were FINALLY seated for dunch and served around 745. Yowza!

Mel and I ended up ordering the same thing, the Iron Maiden, we were good and ordered veggie burgers instead of beef or chicken and salads instead of fries!

My favorite to drink with this delicious feast is a dry cider they serve, light and refreshing with a lil alcohol for kicks.

Mike opted to not go healthy and did the Kuma Burger and fries, look at that!

We all enjoyed our dinners, took a few more pics and headed out.

The next morning we had brunch at John's Place, a cute restaurant around the corner from us, got our bloody mary on and headed off to Ikea before saying a tearful goodbye.

a little disclaimer, spell check is not working this evening! apologies for typos

Monday, February 15, 2010

King Cakes, Hearts and Babies

This weekend has gone way too fast, even with it being 3 days and all. Saturday night we drive out to the burbs to visit our friends Shay and Bianca. They cooked up an amazing southern style dinner, fried catfish, greens, blackeye peas, fried okra and cornbread. It was delicious!! We also got to meet their new little bean, two month old Amelie Maeve. She was so good, and very cute. Mike and I brought a King Cake for dessert in celebration of Mardi Gras. As luck would have it, I got the baby, which contrary to what my friends believe it means, actually means a year of good luck. Yay for me!

Sunday was Vday and also the 2 year anniversary of our engagement, awwww. We spent the day relaxing, got in a good workout at the gym. Busted out the champagne around 530 and headed out the dinner at Red Light, one of my fav restaurants.

We started with cocktails and lobster rolls, then ordered our entrees. I had the pan seared diver scallops with porcini mushroom polenta and jakarta coconut sauce. Mike had the asian paella, chinese sausage, mussels, clams, jumbo prawns, with basmati rice and lobster tamarind sauce. A little different than they do it out East.

After dinner we ordered dessert. I really came for Jackie's Chocolate Bag, it is a must whenever dining at Red Light. It is literally a milk chocolate bag filled with Belgian white chocolate mousse, with berries and raspberry sauce. We skipped the coffee and ordered champagne to go along side. So good!

After, we made our way home and sang a little karaoke lol, it was quite a site. Tomorrow I am off to Texas for work until Friday :( I am dreading being away from my sweetie after a great weekend.

Hope everyone else had a fabulous Valentine's Day! xoxo

Thursday, February 11, 2010

A little lost bug

We got dumped on this week, literally!! I think in the end we got well over a foot of snow, one for the all time record books in Chicago during the month of February. Lucky us!

Our babies, unfortunately, are the ones that pay the price. Mike shoveled a little potty spot for them but Dixie aka Doodle Bug is just a lost little pup when she has to go. Her favorite spot is in the back corner of the yard and there is no way she's making it back there!

Boy, did I need this!

Tonight I was really craving something sweet. A 100 cal pack of chocolate cookies or a soy ice cream sandwich(my only options) just weren't going to cut it. I did some fridge digging and decided to experiment. It was quite simple in the end actually.

I cut up a banana, heated up a skillet on low, sprayed the bananas with a little spray butter, sprinkled them with some splenda brown sugar and cooked them for a few minutes.

Next I pulled out some fat free vanilla. I definitely prefer Breyers to any other brand. Funny thing is I tried the Breyers light and I actually think the fat free is better!

I ended up with one amazing dessert! Best thing, it's totally guilt free!

Sunday, February 7, 2010

love is in the air

It's hard to believe that 2 years ago this Valentine's Day Mike and I were engaged. It's not so hard to believe that it's been two years, but rather how much we did in two years! Phew, talk about the fast track. We both laughed a little about this the other night. When we were married we had only been together just over a year! Seems so crazy to think about now, but when you know, you know! And lucky for us things are better than ever!

A couple great friends of ours have also recently taken the plunge into engagement.

If you attended our wedding I'm sure you remember Bret and Christine, they tore up the dance floor. And many of you know my bff since my freshman year of college Julie and her wife-to-be Trish!(I even got to help Julie pick out the ring, which is gorgeous) I am so happy for my friends, I know the ups and downs of being single and it's so great to see them finally meet their match!

I also am very excited to attend their weddings since they are at amazing venues in Chicago. I really wish I knew the industry in the city better because I would love to be a day of planner. Maybe their weddings will inspire me to take the leap.

Mike and I have some special plans for vday. I'll share next week!

Friday, February 5, 2010

It's been too long and a long time coming...

Wow! I am currently in food como on the couch fighting the urge to unbutton my pants. Why? Tonight Mike and I fought starvation, we fought exhaustion, we endured a long two hour wait to eat at Kumas!!

I dined at Kumas when it first opened a few times but it was in my younger years when my love of alcohol outweighed my love of food and Mike, well he was a Kumas virgin! Kumas is the place to go for the best burger ever! Lucky for me, you can order all of their concoctions with a burger, chicken or a veggie burger, you gotta love a veggie friendly city!!

Tonight, against the odds, we were seated around 8:15 and let me tell was WELL worth the wait!

I forgot my camera and it was too dark for me to take pics with my blackberry, believe me I tried. Luckily, I was able to steal some photos off the internet.

Have a look:

This is not what I had, but it paints a good picture. Above is the "Kuma Burger" topped with bacon, a fried egg and chedder cheese. Wow! What really sets these burgers apart, in my mind, is the pretzel bun, so good!

At Kuma's most of the burgers are all named after heavy metal bands, which adds to the charm. I had the Iron Maiden veggie burger with avocado, cherry peppers, pepper jack and chipotle mayo. This is my fav! Mike had the Kaijo with bacon, blue cheese and frizzled onions. I opted for a side salad instead of the waffle fries which had a super fresh basil dressing. I still managed to sneak in some of Mike's fries!

Just a few weeks ago Lady GaGa made a stop while playing a show in Chicago, yes, it is go good Lady GaGa had to try it!

Just for fun I googled to see what she had. She had the Judas Priest, bacon, blue cheese, dressing with apples, walnuts and dried cranberries.